Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Apostolic Exhortation, Pt. 13

This covers paragraphs 62-65 of the Apostolic Exhortation. Please read my "introduction" to this effort if you haven't done so already. (Be patient, not only is the translation from Latin a bit rough, but also formatting in Blogger is a pain in's my croix du jour to bear, let's just say.) The stuff I find to be incorrect will be stricken out, what I consider the best (or most approximate) translation will be in bold. If there is something that isn't in the text to be translated, but which adds sense, I put it in [brackets]. Sometimes a translated word or phrase needs a little extra help in making itself clearer, so in put any such clarification(s) [italicized in brackets]. I haven't made any comments yet, and I know that I have been VERY nitpicky in the translatin' so that anyone with a better sense of these things than I can piece together something, meaningwise, which might not have been apparent to me.

The Latin language

62. None of the above observations should cast doubt upon This which has been affirmed [above] ought not to obfuscate the importance of such these large-scale liturgies. I am thinking here particularly of celebrations at international gatherings, which nowadays are held with greater frequency. The most should be made of these occasions Their merits are to be [properly] esteemed. In order to express more clearly To better express the unity and universality of the Church, I wish to endorse the proposal commend the suggestion made by the Synod of Bishops, in harmony [literally, "in tune"] with the directives of the Second Vatican Council, (182) that, with the exception of the readings, the homily and the prayer of the faithful, it is fitting that such liturgies be celebrated in Latin. Similarly, the better-known prayers (183) of the Church's tradition should might be recited in Latin and, if possible, selections of Gregorian chant should be sung eventually, parts [of the liturgy] sung in Gregorian chant. Speaking more generally, I ask petition that future priests, from their time in the seminary, receive the preparation needed be [properly] prepared to understand and to celebrate Mass in Latin, and also to use Latin texts and execute sing in Gregorian chant; nor should we forget are we to neglect ensuring that the faithful can be are taught to recite the more common prayers in Latin, and also to sing parts of the liturgy to Gregorian chant. (184)

Eucharistic celebrations in small groups

63. A very different situation arises when, in the interest of more conscious, active and fruitful participation, pastoral circumstances favour small group celebrations. While acknowledging the formative value of this approach, it must be stated necesary to define that such celebrations should always are always to be consonant with the overall pastoral activity work of the Diocese. These celebrations would actually lose their catechetical pedagogical value if they were felt to be in competition with, opposition or parallel to, the life of the a particular Church. In this regard, the Synod set forth some necessary underscored certain binding criteria: small groups must serve to unify the community, not to fragment it; the beneficial results ought to be clearly evident; these groups should encourage the fruitful participation of the entire assembly, and preserve as much as possible the unity of the liturgical life of individual families. (185)

Interior participation in the celebration

Mystagogical catechesis

64. The Church's great liturgical tradition teaches us that fruitful participation in the liturgy requires that one be personally conformed it is necessary that one personally responds to the mystery being celebrated, offering one's life to God in unity with the sacrifice of Christ for the salvation of the whole world. For this reason, the Synod of Bishops asked suggested that the faithful be helped to make their interior dispositions correspond to their gestures and words. Otherwise If this were lacking, however carefully planned and executed well enacted our liturgies may be, they would risk falling into a certain ritualism. Hence the need to provide promote an education in eucharistic faith capable of enabling that would provide the disposition to [literally, "dispose"] the faithful to live personally what they celebrate. Given the vital eminent importance of this personal and conscious participatio, what methods are the ideal instruments of formation are needed? The Synod Fathers unanimously indicated, in this regard, a mystagogical approach to catechesis, which would lead the faithful to understand internalize ever more deeply the mysteries being celebrated. (186) In particular, given the close relationship between the ars celebrandi and an actuosa participatio, it must first be said that "the best catechesis on the Eucharist is the Eucharist itself, properly [literally, "worthily"] celebrated well." (187) By its very nature, the liturgy can be is pedagogically effective in helping drawing the faithful to enter more deeply into the mystery being celebrated. That is why, in the Church's most ancient tradition, without neglecting a systematic understanding of the content of the faith, the process of Christian formation always had an experiential character. While not neglecting a systematic understanding of the content of the faith, it centred on a vital and convincing living and persuasive encounter with Christ, as proclaimed by authentic witnesses. It is first and foremost the witness who introduces others to the mysteries In this sense, whosoever effects an introduction to these mysteries is a witness above all [else]. Naturally, this initial Said encounter gains depth perfection through catechesis and finds its source and summit in the celebration of the Eucharist. This basic structure From this precept of the Christian experience calls springs the necessity for a process of mystagogy in which should always respect must be kept present three elements:
a) It interprets the Above all the interpretation of the rites in the light of the salvific events of our salvation, in accordance congruent with the Church's living tradition. The celebration of the Eucharist, contains in its infinite richness, makes constant reference constantly refers to salvation history. In Christ crucified and risen, we truly celebrate the one who center [literally, "heart"] that has recapitulated united all things in himself (cf. Eph 1:10). From the beginning, the Christian community has interpreted the events of Jesus' life, and the Paschal Mystery in particular, in relation to the entire history of the Old Testament.

b) A mystagogical catechesis must also be concerned with presenting present the meaning of the signs contained in the rites. This admonition is particularly important in a highly technological age like our own present, which risks losing the ability to appreciate signs and symbols. More than simply conveying information [just]informing, a mystagogical catechesis should be capable of making awaken and educate the faithful to become more sensitive to the language of signs and gestures which, together in conjunction with the word, make up constitute the rite.

c) Finally, a mystagogical catechesis must be concerned with bringing out the significance of the rites for and [its] relevance to the Christian life in all its dimensions – work and responsibility industry, thoughts and emotions affection, activity and repose rest. Part of the mystagogical process is to demonstrate underscore how the mysteries celebrated in the rite are linked to the missionary responsibility of the faithful. The mature fruit perfect conclusion [i.e., final result] of mystagogy is an awareness becoming conscious to the fact that one's life is being progressively transformed by the holy mysteries being celebrated. The aim of all Christian education, moreover, is to train the believer in form the [individual] faithful as a "new man" with an adult faith that can make him a "new creation", capable of bearing witness in his surroundings to the Christian hope that inspires him.

If we are to succeed in carrying out this work of education in our ecclesial communities, those responsible for formation must be adequately properly prepared. Indeed, the whole people of God should feel involved in ought feel committed to this formation. Each Christian community is called to be a pedagogical place where people can be taught about introducing the mysteries celebrated in faith. In this regard, the Synod Fathers called for greater underscored the call for greater involvement by communities of consecrated life, movements and groups which, by their specific charisms, can give new impetus renewed momentum to Christian formation. (188) In our time, too, the Holy Spirit freely bestows his gifts in effusion to sustain the apostolic mission of the Church, which is charged with spreading the faith and bringing it to its formation until maturity. (189)

Reverence for the Eucharist

65. A convincing indication sign of the effectiveness of eucharistic catechesis is surely professed in an increased sense of the mystery of God present among us. This can be expressed in proven through the concrete outward signs of reverence for the Eucharist which the process of mystagogy should ought inculcate in the faithful. (190) I am thinking in general of the importance of gestures and posture, such as kneeling during the central moments of the Eucharistic Prayer. Amid To accomodate oneself in the legitimate diversity of signs used in the context of different cultures, everyone should be able to experience is to live and express the awareness that he is conscious that at each celebration we stand before the infinite majesty of God, who comes to us in the lowliness of in a humble manner in the sacramental signs.


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